Australia methamphetamine seizure 'worth a record A$1bn'

Three men arrested over the seizure sit in front of heavily armed officers Image copyright Australian Federal Police
Image caption Six men were arrested at a dock near Geraldton, in Western Australia

Australian police have arrested eight men over the nation's largest ever seizure of the drug methamphetamine.

The haul, estimated to have a street value of A$1bn (£600m; $800m), was uncovered when police raided a dock in Western Australia, authorities said.

Police have charged the men, each of whom faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Crystal methamphetamine, also known as ice, has been described as the most damaging illicit drug in Australia.

The 1.2-tonne (2,650lb) bust was larger than the previous record seizure, made in Melbourne in April.

"We are very pleased that 12 million hits of methamphetamine will be off the streets over the Christmas [and] new year period," said Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

Six men were arrested at a dock near the city of Geraldton, while two were arrested in Perth. All are Australians aged between 33 and 52.

Image copyright Australian Federal Police
Image caption The drugs were intercepted about 400km (250 miles) north of Perth

The arrests happened after 59 bags containing the drugs were loaded from a boat, Valkoista, into a white van on Thursday, Australian Federal Police said.

In 2015, Australia's government established a national taskforce to tackle the growing use of ice.

The move followed a report by the Australian Crime Commission that found ice posed the highest risk to communities of any illegal substance.

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